Disclaimer: A Doctor Who university AU with Rose and other companions as students and the Tenth Doctor as a professor who goes by John Smith. Features some of Nine and Eleven, whose names have been changed to the actor's name and are separate people (e.g. Nine is Chris and Eleven is Matt). Rated T, but will probably change in the future due to mature content. I do not own Doctor Who or their characters, unfortunately; nor do I own the cover picture, which I assume belongs to BBC. I hope you enjoy! :)
"Is this even the right part of the building?"
"How am I supposed to know?" Rose Tyler retorted as she and her roommate wandered through the hallway. "Two years at this university and this is the first time I've ever had to come to this building."
Martha Jones reread the room number from the syllabus in her hand and checked the numbers on the doors. "Well this is 119 and our room is 319. So we've gotta go up, I suppose."
"It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure that one out," Rose said with a giggle, poking fun at the fact that Martha was enrolled as a medical student here at the school. Martha shot daggers at Rose but playfully nudged her as they found the stairs.
Rose had met Martha during her orientation before her freshman year. They'd become friends easily as they both had very sweet and friendly personalities. But Rose was a bit more mischievous than Martha, and when she decided that the tour they were on was too boring for her taste she decided to take it upon herself to check out the campus. It didn't take long for her to realize she'd gotten herself lost. And little did she know, her disappearance created quite a stir. About two hours later, a guy who was hosting one of the tour guides found Rose sitting on a bench in the courtyard reading a book she'd packed in her book bag. Martha had accompanied him and when he called out to her, Martha ran over to Rose and threw her arms around her, "Oh my god, he found you!" Rose was touched by her new friend's worry over her. After the orientation weekend, both realized they were quite desperate for a roommate. So they decided to get a dorm together.
This was their third year rooming together as they had developed a deep friendship, as well as with their two other roommates.
Rose Tyler was a 21 year old student who was majoring in journalism. A major that she didn't choose until her second year. What she really loved was history; but everyone had advised her against majoring in it. Especially her mother, Jackie, who went on and on about how such a major didn't pay well and where was she going to find a job. Rose's favorite complaint was her mother's "What are you gonna do? Build a time machine and travel back in time? Might as well go to the future then if that's how serious you're gonna take college!" So Rose planned to minor in history whenever she declared a major. It wasn't until the second half of her first year that she found out what that should be.
Professor Chris Smith, her first history class teacher, was the man who helped Rose discover her passion. He was the head of the journalism department and through their time spent together, Rose found a deep appreciation for journalism and desire to find out the truth. Through class and office hours, Rose discovered a strong connection with the teacher, who reciprocated her feelings. He helped her find a balance between her old love of history and new love of journalism, especially since he too was fond of both and taught a variety of classes in both subjects. And soon, he became somewhat of a mentor to her and she found she cared very deeply for him.
That's why his death over the summer was such a tragedy for Rose.
Rose had spent the remainder of the summer grieving. She found a lot of support through her roommates and friends; even from her boss and, reluctantly, from her boyfriend. But now that the semester was starting again, Rose was beginning to feel the sadness return.
Rose and Martha finally found the right room 5 minutes before the class was supposed to begin.
"Hey," Martha reached out and grabbed Rose's hand as they took their seat. "It'll be ok."
"What are you –"
Martha smiled, "Rose, you always get that look when you start thinking about him. You've spent your time grieving; it's a new year and it's time to move forward. There's nothing we can do about death besides take our own life and move forward, carrying the memories with us. If there's one thing I've learned from some of the patients in the hospital, it's that."
Rose smiled and nodded, knowing that her friend was right. She found it easier to be happy most of the time, as long as she didn't ponder too long on her old mentor. The hardest part was going to be later today when she would have to go to her history class. Chris was supposed to be her teacher, and now there was going to be someone new. She wasn't sure how she would deal with it.
But her thoughts shifted when a familiar face walked through the classroom doors and looked around the room until they found her.
"Jack!" Rose called out as he hopped up the stairs and took a seat next to her, giving her a firm hug.
"Rose Tyler! It's been so long; how did you manage to keep out of touch?" he purred as he cupped her face and looked her over.
Martha cleared her throat in a not-so-subtle manor.
"Oh! Jack Harkness, meet Martha Jones," Rose introduced.
Jack reached his arm across Rose and shook Martha's hand. "Hello, Martha Jones."
Martha blushed, "Why hello. And how do you two know each other?"
"Jack and I met freshman year in history with Chris," Rose explained.
Jack grabbed Rose's hand, "I heard about what happened to him. I'm sorry, I know how close you two had gotten. I shed quite a few tears myself when I read it in the paper. He was a good guy; I wouldn't be the man I am now if it wasn't for his influence."
"How so?" Martha asked curiously.
Rose thought back to the type of guy Jack was when they'd first met. Jack was devilishly handsome; and he knew it. He found a way of making money by scamming people, and he made the mistake of trying to scam Chris. But Chris was sharp and quickly saw through Jack's games. And in his own way, he helped Jack see through all the bull he was setting his life up to become.
"Let's just say that I wish I'd never met him," Jack chuckled fondly as he shared a sweet look with Rose, "I was much better off as a coward."
Jack wrapped an arm around Rose and gave her a hug, kissing her forehead as Martha smiled at the pair.
Rose felt the tears prick at the edges of her eyes, but she fought to keep them away. It'd been a couple of weeks since she'd cried last, a personal record; and she wasn't about to give in now, especially when class was about to start.
Rose had noticed a few other students beginning to fill up the room, but she didn't recognize any of them. Not that she expected to, really. This was a requirement class that she needed for one of her ridiculous science subjects. And since Martha needed to fill the same requirement, she decided to take the class with her, much to Rose's appreciation.
The start time for class approached, and the teacher was still nowhere to be seen.
"Where do you think the professor is?" Martha asked as the classmates around them began to get a little antsy. "This is the right classroom and time, right?"
Rose shrugged, pulling out the paper with her class information on it as Martha looked it over. "I don't think I recognize the professor's name."
"Oh, you mean John Smith?" Jack's attention stirred and it was hard to miss the slight hitch in his voice.
Rose and Martha grinned. "Hot for teacher, Jackie Boy?" Rose teased.
Jack chuckled and rose an eye brow. "Girls, I'm a theater major – and I'm taking physics. I think my true agenda is a bit revealing."
"If you're a theater major then how do you even know about this guy?" Martha asked, trying to calm her giggles.
"He's not just a physics teacher," Jack explained. "I actually had him last year; he taught a Shakespeare class. He likes acting on stage but he's mostly done Shakespeare. Back when I had him he was playing in Hamlet with a big shot theater company. He performed a bit for us when we got to that play and god, he was amazing! I'm really surprised neither of you have heard about him on campus any. He's very popular amongst the female students; and quite a few males."
Rose and Martha looked at each other and shrugged. Rose scoffed. "So he's a hot shot handsome actor who teaches physics on the side?"
"I don't know," Jack grinned, "but I hope that's not the only thing he does on the side."
Martha rolled her eyes and smiled, "Well it's been 10 minutes. Isn't there some kind of rule that says if a teacher is so many minutes late, then all the students are allowed to leave?"
Before either Rose or Jack could reply, the door to the classroom frantically opened. In ran a tall, thin man in a floor length brown overcoat. After he sat his briefcase down he pulled the coat off to reveal a bright blue pinstripe suit underneath with a white collared shirt and purple tie.
He stepped from behind his podium and Rose had to cover her mouth. She had to admit, he looked sharp. Even in the ridiculously clashing red converse trainers.
The professor reached into his pocket and pulled out a pair of black rimmed glasses, and smiled brightly for the class.
"Hello! Ok –" the professor cleared his throat and creased his eye brows. He ran his tongue across the front of his teeth. "New teeth. That's weird." He looked up and noticed that his students were staring at him as if he were an alien. "Sorry, sorry. I had a dentist appointment that ran over a smidge too long. And now my teeth are all slimy and weird feeling," he made a dramatic face as he scrunched his nose and ran his tongue across his teeth again. "They almost feel like brand new teeth. Y'know what I mean?"
The class stayed quiet, completely paralyzed. Rose noticed she'd been sitting with her mouth partly open and her eye brow creased as she'd watched the man's wild display, but she simply couldn't pull her gaze away.
The professor's head dipped from the lack of response and cleared his throat once again. He walked behind the podium and opened his briefcase.
"Let's get started then. Good morning class. Are we sitting comfortably?" Rose heard a couple of classmates murmur and mumble a response. "Good. Because I'd appreciate it if, for the most part, you all stuck to the same seats. For future project purposes you'll be grouped up with two to three partners, and from prior experience I've realized that most students just chose the people sitting closest to them."
Rose, Martha, and Jack exchanged knowing glances, subliminally recognizing that the three of them would team up.
"My name is John Smith, and I will be teaching this class for the semester. You can call me John or Mr. Smith or Professor – you can call me the Oncoming Storm for all I care." A light laughter swept through the seats and Professor Smith smiled. "Ahh, there's some response! I knew you had it in you. Please, don't let me do all the talking this semester; I can talk a lot faster than this and you don't want me filling in the entire hour or so with just my voice. I've got a lot to teach you, but you all have a lot to teach me as well. Let me hear your lovely voices."
Rose found herself smiling. She always liked professors who were willing to have an open communication with their students. The ones who simply stood in front of the class and lectured, never bothered to learn your name, and pretty much didn't care if you learned something or not were the worst and she found it a chore to attend class.
The professor grabbed a red sharpie and turned around. As he wrote PHYSICS in large letters on the board, he continued. "So… Physics." He turned around and dramatically popped the cap back on the marker. He began to pace in front of the board a bit. "Physics, eh? Ph-h-ysics. Phyyysics. Physics! Physics. Physics. Physicsphysicsphysicsphysics. I hope one of you is getting all this down."
A girl near the front of the class raised her hand timidly. Professor Smith stopped and nodded towards her. "You do realize you're just saying physics over and over again, don't you?"
"What's your name, miss?" he responded with a smile as he leaned against the front of his desk and crossed his feet. Rose shook her head again at the ridiculous shoes.
"Um, Lynda Moss. Lynda with a Y, sir."
"Lynda with a Y!" he grinned. "Are you sure I'm just saying physics over and over again? Maybe I'm just saying something so advanced and complicated that to you all it just sounds like physics."
Lynda didn't have a response.
Professor Smith chuckled. "Have a laugh! I'm just jesting. We will get started but first things first, I need to take roll. Also, as the lovely Miss Lynda with a Y just demonstrated, I would appreciate it if everyone who speaks starts the question or comment with their name. Just as a way for me and your fellow classmates to learn and remember. After a few weeks I should have it down."
He hopped around his desk and pulled out a folder.
"He's sort of jumpy, don't you think?" Martha whispered to Rose. Rose nodded. "But Jack was right. He is rather dashing."
Rose shrugged. She did think he was attractive, but the way he acted was reminding her too much of Chris. His rather sassy remark towards Lynda and wide grin. Not to mention they had the same last name. But Smith was a common name; she knew at least three unrelated people with the surname Smith.
Professor Smith was going through the list of names. After he called out the name, he would take the next couple of minutes to say hello and ask them a question or two. Some were predictable: what's your major, where are you from, what year are you. Some were more out there: what's your favorite color, favorite fruit, do you know how to dance. And if he knew the student, he'd ask how they were.
Such as he did when he got down to the H's and called out Jack Harkness.
"Captain Jack!" Professor Smith sang. "What a surprise to see you here! Still doing theater? Or have you found a sudden love for the sciences?"
Jack smiled brightly, relishing the attention and opportunity to speak. "Not so much luck. Still theater, just filling a requirement. Not that I'm complaining; it's an honor to have you as a teacher again." Rose couldn't restrain her laugh at Jack's sorry excuse. She noticed some of the girls who were sitting around them gawk at Jack, who was in fact very handsome. As Jack had explained to her when they had first met, he considered himself omnisexual; he was attracted equally to all human beings no matter what their gender. He'd even joked to her that he wouldn't even care if they were human or a different species.
Then Professor Smith got down to Martha.
"Martha Jones." She raised her hand. "Brilliant name! Tell me, Miss Jones, what are you in school for?"
Martha blushed slightly after his compliment. "Medical program. I'm studying to be a doctor."
"Doctor Jones!" he grinned proudly. "I've never had a student who was a doctor. Well, not in the medical sense, that is. What made you decide to become a physician?"
"When I was a kid, my brother pushed me off the swing and I broke my arm. The ambulance ride and getting my arm plastered fascinated me. That's when I decided to be a doctor."
"Excellent," Professor Smith complimented, making Martha smile and blush brighter than Rose had ever seen her. "I love the subject of biology. We'll have to talk about it together sometime."
Martha nodded, and Rose could tell he had roped her in with his charm.
He went on with a few other names. Rose didn't recognize any of them besides Lynda Moss, who'd already introduced herself earlier.
"Astrid Peth –"
The door to the classroom opened, cutting the professor off and forcing all eyes to turn towards the person walking through. And as the woman closed the door, the eyes stayed on her. The woman was blonde, with a sharp and mature face. Her dress was extravagant; something Rose definitely couldn't afford on her pay check. She was gorgeous.
And Rose knew exactly who she was.
"I'm so sorry I'm late," the girl said as she turn towards the professor and smiled innocently. Professor Smith's gaze didn't go unnoticed, at least not by Rose. Not that she was jealous or anything, most people reacted this way to meeting her. "I got a tad lost. It won't happen again, I promise."
Professor Smith nodded and cleared his throat. "Yes, well… see to it that it doesn't. I'm a tolerable man, but tardiness reflects a lack of respect. I'll let it go this time."
She smiled brightly, "Thank you so much Professor Smith. I won't let you down."
Rose rolled her eyes. Her promise sounded more sensual than it needed to.
"Good. What's your name? I want to make sure I haven't already called you."
"Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson," she said proudly. "But I prefer Reinette."
Rose scoffed softly, only loud enough for Martha and Jack to hear. Jack rose an eye brow at her.
"Ahh, you were next. Right after Miss Astrid Peth. Please, Miss Reinette, take a seat."
And she did, but not before scanning the room with a smug smile as she walked to a seat at the front. Her eyes lingered slightly on Jack, and then moved to Rose, though she quickly averted them.
"Who's that?" Jack whispered as Professor Smith gave his attention back to Astrid, the perky blonde to their right.
Rose leaned over slightly. "Reinette. She works with me, sort of. She's a graduate student for journalism – no idea why she's taking a lower level science class."
"Probably for the man candy," Martha whispered, nodding towards the front of the room at the professor.
The three chuckled softly.
Surprisingly, Professor Smith didn't spend much time on Reinette. He simply asked where she was from.
"France, actually. But I've been living in England so long I've sort of adopted a mixed accent," she replied, then began to speak a bit in French.
"Lovely," Professor Smith complimented. Then he looked back down at his list. A large grin spread across his face as he looked up towards the seats. "Rose Tyler!" he announced with an excited tone as he searched the students.
Rose held up her hand. "Here."
Professor Smith looked at her. It was almost like he was studying her; examining her features. Rose felt slightly uncomfortable under his glare, especially since he hadn't said anything.
Rose broke their eye contact and she felt her cheeks heat up slightly. She looked awkwardly around the classroom until she noticed Reinette, who had turned around in her seat and glared at her.
"Rose Tyler," Professor Smith repeated. Rose noticed he drew out her last name, turning the –er into an –ah. "Tell me, Rose, if you could meet any historical figure – who would it be and what would you say to them?"
Her mouth opened and her brow creased. What luck was this? Everyone got a simple question and here she was, having to scramble through her mind for a simple answer to a complicated question. "Um, geeze. That's a loaded question." Professor Smith smiled slyly and crossed his arms, almost as if he was challenging her. She rose an eye brow and smirked. "Alright – Queen Victoria. And I would try to get her to say that she is not amused."
Professor Smith threw his head back and laughed. "You really think you could?"
"I bet 5 quid I could make her say it," Rose said confidently.
He chuckled. "Even if I had the ability to travel in time and get you to meet her, gambling on historical events would be an abuse of power."
She rose an eye brow, "Ten quid?"
"Done," he grinned. "Fantastic!"
Rose's heart dropped along with her smile. The professor must have noticed her mood change because he dropped his gaze and turned his attention back to the last few people on his list.
Fantastic. That's what he always said. It was one of the last things he'd said to her.